Cholesterol and Triglyceride Support Through Diet, and Lifestyle Changes for Heart Health
High cholesterol is often associated with an increased risk towards coronary artery disease, heart disease, and stroke.The World Health Organization estimates that almost 20% of all strokes and over 50% of all heart attacks can be linked to high cholesterol, with these numbers rising every year.There are also estimates that over 50% of all Americans have cholesterol levels above the suggested limit.
Conventional medicine recommends and incorporates the use of statin drugs in order to lower elevated cholesterol levels. For many people, it is difficult to lower their cholesterol through diet and exercise alone, and they resort to these medications.Unfortunately, statin drugs are often accompanied by a variety of side effects that many patients wish to avoid.Side effects of statin drug use typically include: headaches, muscle pains, diarrhea, fatigue, and weakness.In rare occasions, more severe side effects include neurological degeneration, depression, weight gain, liver stress, and memory loss to name a few. For many people, these side effects are scarier than the high cholesterol that they are attempting to lower.
In 1953, Dr. Ancel Keys published a paper titled “Atherosclerosis, a Problem in Newer Public Health” where he hypothesized that there was a correlation between high dietary cholesterol (fat) intake and death rates from cardiovascular disease based on the data he accumulated from seven countries. Keys’s studies were later criticized for excluding data from any countries that did not support his theories. There was data available for 22 countries, and when the full picture was looked at, there was found to be no relationship between dietary fat consumption, high cholesterol levels and heart disease.
According to Harvard School of Public Health, in the 1960s, fats and oils supplied Americans with about 45 percent of their calories; about 13 percent of us were obese and under 1 percent had type 2 diabetes. Today, Americans take in less fat, getting about 33 percent of calories from fats and oils; yet 34 percent of us are obese and 8 percent have diabetes, most with type 2 diabetes.
Most people that experience high cholesterol, attempt to alter their diet by reducing their dietary fat consumption.Research from both Dr. Keys poorly formed study and current research from Harvard indicate that the removal of dietary fats will not lower the elevated cholesterol levels.
In most cases, high cholesterol is a result of elevated triglycerides that come from high glycemic diets.Elevated triglyceride levels, rather than high cholesterol, have demonstrated a more consistent correlation between heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular disease.
Dietary sugars that are not used shortly after ingestion are converted to triglycerides inside of our body, and stored within the fat cells of our body.Avoiding simple sugars, breads, pastas, sodas, and other sugary sources can decrease triglyceride levels, and in turn lower the total cholesterol levels.When evaluating triglyceride levels on blood tests, the normally accepted reference range is a triglyceride levels is less than 150 mg/dL when fasting.From a nutritional approach, a triglyceride level of 75-90 mg/dL when fasting will frequently demonstrate a substantial change in total cholesterol levels, without the use of statin drugs, or their side effects.